The Daily Star
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50 years ago
April 10, 1963
Should on-duty firemen flush down city streets after they are swept by the street department?
Should on-duty firemen paint fire hydrants?
These are two questions that spanned two city commission meetings in City Hall Tuesday.
End result: Fire Commissioner Robert Sutton will have to give the order — something he won’t do without conferring with Fire Chief Kenneth Hooks.
The matter was brought to a head at an afternoon meeting of the Public Service Board when it was learned that hydrants are now being flushed in Oneonta.
Why can’t the firemen flush the streets? came the question.
In favor of firemen aiding in the street-cleaning program are the four commissioners — Albert E. Farone, Joseph Signorino, James Catella and Wingar C. Still.
The men during and after the session pointed out that the firemen are in radio contact with the station and if they were on a street-flushing detail they could quickly be summoned by radio.
But the board wants the on-duty crew to do it; they don’t want call men doing the job because call men have to be paid when they report for duty.
City Engineer Lawrence Baldwin doubts the practicality of such a program.
He noted that firemen have to be on duty in the fire station. He said that if there are four men on duty and three out on the street detail, there wouldn’t be two left to man the ambulance in case of an emergency.